Will it outreach?

Youtube personalities, Rhett and Link, have been my favorites since they began helping small businesses like The Red House furniture store and Presidential Carwash by making low-budget commercials that went viral for small, struggling companies. They now host a daily “casual comedy” show called Good Mythical Morning. The show often features taste tests of strange foods and a common theme is “Will it (fill in the blank with something outlandish)”. Examples include, Will it taco?, Will it lasagna?, and Will it Pop Tart®?. Basically, they use non-standard ingredients in familiar foods to see if it is tasty and/or edible.

Church planters often do a similar thing while attempting to find ways to build relational bridges that will give them a platform to share the gospel truth of Jesus Christ. So today we are asking the question, Will it Outreach?

Will it outreach? – Ninja Tethered Line Jungle Gym for Kids
Practicing setting it up in a member’s backyard.

While in the states last year, we ran across a portable playground setup called the Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. Will it outreach? New Community Bible Church in our city is looking forward to being a test market for this potential ministry tool. Then we’ll find the answer to the question: “Does it Outreach?” Hopefully before next year we’ll have a couple more church startups willing to test this hanging jungle gym. All that is needed is a spot with two sturdy trees in a location where families are apt to pass by or congregate and everything else is in the box. Most likely this would be in conjunction with a robust plan that includes activities for all ages. New Community Bible Church routinely hosts park outreaches that include various activities like Gaga-ball, Pictures ministry (featuring copies of some great works of art), a couple varieties of volleyball, trampolines, cotton candy, face painting and various other games and contests for different ages.

Here is another ministry tool we are trying out for reaching youth and young adults.

Slacklining has been popular in Europe for many years, and it is now just starting to become more popular in Ukraine. Although it is still quite rare, when I practice in a local park, sometimes people will come and talk about it and want to try it. Others have discreetly taken pictures and I pretend to think they are just talking on their telephone. Boris is a church planter in the east that we have been encouraging and visiting with from time to time. We demonstrated and gave him this slackline kit that can be used in any park that has two trees 20 to 50 feet apart. Another kit was given to another church planter and we still have a kit on hand to give away. Next summer we’ll check in with Boris and ask him the big question, “Does it outreach?”

This is actually an idea we got from our friend, James Flamm, a few years ago. Do you have any ideas for outreach? What things can you think of that might attract a few people or even a small crowd? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Will it outreach?

  1. Hello Eric and Beth,

    Thank you for your reply. Just listened to Eric sing on You tube- in Ukrainian. Glorious… what a voice. My lord

    Also read your post about the jungle gyms. That is a fantastic idea, also the Slacklining!!

    You requested any ideas for outreach, these might be lame, but they are offered.

    A. FOUR SQUARE- When I was younger we loved to play 4 square; even the most non-athletic kid could play adequately. The large rubber ball that bounced super easy made it fun and fast. We eventually had a basketball court area marked for 9 square. (One person in the middle, 3 squares on each side. VERY Fast game). When a kid misses the ball if it’s bounced to him, he’s out for that round, and each person then moves ‘up” one square. Highest square of honor is the center square- the person in this square is King- or Boss… He gets to call which ‘kind’of game it is… I’ve seen adults have fun joining the kids on this. It’s so easy but can get advanced and very fast, many variations exist-

    B. BOMBARDMENT-indoor or outdoor game for older kids – adults. Fast, frenetic, competitive. Just need a large room or level outdoor area and several dodge balls. It’s like team dodgeball. Tons of fun. Everybody perspires and gets to know each other- you might have already played this. I used this on Wednesday and Sunday nights when I supervised kids from age 8-15. But high schoolers and older would like it, if the leader runs the game quickly.

    C. SIMPLE MAGIC TRICKS- but we teach how the tricks are done at the end. Lots of spiritual applications of course in a magic trick.

    D. CARDBOARD FORTS/MAZES.. We started the fort on our driveway, and before long kids came from around the neighborhood to crawl through and help add an extra turn in the maze. (We had lots of boxes ready to use.) Crayons, colored paper, stickers, magazine pictures, each participant can embellish his box on several sides as he adds it to the main fort. We played music sometimes as kids crawled through.

    Many ways to apply this to life, of course.
    Can be created indoors or outdoors.
    Different Activities:
    1. Make sure there are several entrances & exits. Kids can crawl through the maze, and they have to stop when the music stops, and switch directions.

    2. You can enter anywhere you choose, but must exit from a different portal-

    3. You must enter solo but exit with a friend.

    E. SIMPLE BOWLING- using Coke or Soda bottles as pins.


  2. Another idea for the cardboard fort: I used this in Sunday School/ as kids crawl through , when the music stops, they stop and read whatever is written on the inside of the cardboard wall: one of the 10 commandments (when we were studying those,) a wise maxim, etc.

    As they exit the fort, they must recite one of phrases or verses they read on the wall of the fort while they were stopped. The more the child remembers, the higher the points.


  3. My younger daughter Crissy is serving at Black Forest Academy for 2 years. (I remember many years ago reading your newsletter when your daughter Charity was going to be entering the boarding school there. How I prayed for her and her parents at this juncture!)

    Crissy has two teen boys in her care who are Russian-Ukrainian. They sit during meals, just silent. Staring into space. When they talk to each other, their private conversations in Russian or Ukrainian are filled with such fear and loss. These two precious boys do NOT know Christ. The home of the grandmother of one of the boys was bombed…

    How we pray for all the Ukrainian people who are being massacred and displaced, daily!! Do any of your posts give narratives on the current situation of how your many friends, ministers, believers and non believers are faring?

    Yes, your accurate perception of who the true enemy is behind this atrocity stopped me in my tracks…. “The rest is smoke and mirrors.” I pray for my Ukrainian brothers and sisters- “May the bruised reed not be broken; the smoldering wick not be put out.” May the “fourth man in the fire” reveal Himself mightily/ and show Himself Strong….


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